The Garden Guest House.
Let me emphasis that this is not a hotel-based holiday. Here you will be living in much the same way as our neighbours do, although with a little more western comfort. In our guest house, you'll be living within the local community, gaining insights into culture & ways of life that hotels cannot give you.
There is a small 'chill out zone' between the main lawn area and the backyard; it's a little 'backwater' that gets the best breezes, other than on the flat roof out back. It can be a quiet little oasis, even when there are plenty of people chatting on the main 'terrace' or 'bantaba'.
This shady terrace area, behind the kitchen house, is where we have our main dining table and chairs; it also becomes an informal 'stage', when friends come to entertain us. The garden has matured with flowers and some fruit trees.
Rooms face on to our bahama-grass lawns which have both shady and sunny areas for you to relax in. Windows have mosquito nets and curtains; doors have curtains and individual padlocks. Rooms have mosquito-netted double beds, pillows, sheets, blanket, built-in wardrobe and shower area. You can always boil water, for the occasional hot wash, but most of the time you will prefer a cooler shower at tap temperature, which is never cold.
Whilst here you will be part of the local community. As such you will gain insights into culture and tribal customs that would not be open to you if you were at one of the hotels. We get invited to naming and 'right of passage' ceremonies, weddings and to other compounds as friends, rather than as tourists. The natural friendliness of the people may overwhelm you at first. We Europeans are not used to this open-hearted warmth and generosity of spirit. You will also meet genuine 'griots' [Jalis: the Bards or minstrels, who carry the histories of the tribes. See 'Jalis' tab & links page for more info..] at their homes or at our place.
Like Haruna, the first people you will meet are all artists or artisans. Also cooks, batik makers, builders, gardeners, masseurs, musicians, scrabble champions [in English!] all 'salt of the Earth' folks like silversmiths and tailors. Then there are the neighbours; all of them are my good friends and can be the same for you, if you wish.
If you are in Gambia already & want to find us, the guest house is in the Kachically area of Bakau, at the end of the present housing in Tuman Street. Not far from 'Zion Train' & the graveyard. Any taxi driver can get you to the crocodile pool in Kachically. With the small road that leads to the crocodile pool off to your right, keep going down hill on the main road, in a straight line, ignoring any turns. Go past the mosque on the left, past a few small local shops on the right & on to the very end of the road. This photo shows the blue gates of the mosque on the left.
Ask for Haruna or Paul's compound, we are better known than the name 'Garden Guest House'. However, we plan to have some kind of sign out to show the place as 'The Garden Guest House'. Local number for us is via Modou Jammeh's mobile: 9985213.
We are close to Cape St. Mary, Cape Point, at the river mouth, see this map.